Adviser: Financial advising isn't a profession

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Shane Nicholas has been in the industry about 10-11 years. He has 110 clients and $75m FUM with RetireCare Personal Wealth Management.

But he isn't happy with how Australians view the financial planning industry.

“I’m not convinced people look at financial planners and think they’re professional,” said Nicholas.

He believes conflict of interest remuneration models and major public failings such as Storm Financial, gives people the idea that planners are just out to line their own pockets.

New regulations are beginning to change this view, he said, as the increasing cost of compliance is seeing more consolidation in the industry.

"Until the barriers between product manufacturer and advisers are broken down I don’t think we will be viewed as a profession."

Nicholas said the developments on industry reform have been the best things about the past 12 months and the industry needs to continue on this path to be recognised as a 'profession'.

He said his business doesn't require any adjustments following the regulatory changes, and although they have a competitive edge at the moment they will have to work hard to keep it.

If the financial services sector can lay low in the terms of bad media for the next few years, they should build enough consumer confidence to be established as a profession, said Nicholas.

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